Sixty: …and Evening

Continuing the ”Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley” year long quest.

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"...and Evening",  8x10, oil on boardMorning…Afternoon…and Evening. We had an almost full moon rising around dusk today, so what better way to end this quest with a view of Silicon Valley with a full moon rising over the eastern foothills. I am not as familiar with the western foothills of Santa Clara County where I wanted to paint this, so took me quite a bit of time on Google Earth, and just driving around, to find this scene. I also wanted it to be by a creek I had not painted yet.

I settled on a view from Peacock Court in the foothills above Cupertino. In the distant valley you can see downtown San Jose. The creek is Swiss Creek and is a tributary of Stevens Creek, which I have painted several times in this quest. We were above Permanente Quarry and I could hear the equipment in the distance below. As soon as I turned onto Peacock Court, guess what I saw….a peacock!

The rising moon was spectacular. In the pictures, it almost looks like a rising sun. I stayed until it was too dark to paint, and touched the painting up in the studio.

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This ends the year long quest, but there is much more coming up! Just the painting part is over!

I have a special surprise coming in a few days, and there is much more after that, so stay tuned!


Click this link for a map of all painting locations along with each painting.
Click on this link for a Pinterest catalog of all paintings so far.

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TwentyNine: Stevens Auto Line

Continuing the ‘Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley’ year long quest.

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Stevens Auto Line, 8x10, oil on board
Stevens Auto Line, 8×10, oil on board

If you google Stevens Creek, you will probably first come up with BMW, Toyota, Audi, Nissan, Lexus, Ford, Acura, Honda, Subaru, and other auto makers. That’s because Stevens Creek Blvd is auto row for Silicon Valley, at least one of several auto rows. All who live in the South Bay know Stevens Creek Blvd. It starts near the western foothills, runs due east, and near it’s eastern end are the shopping mecca’s of upscale Valley Fair Mall, and trendy Santana Row, where the Silicon Valley workers come for happy hour, dining, smoozing, people watching, and whatever else young people do after work nowadays.

Yes, there is an actual creek, and I have never quite figured out how the boulevard got its name, as it does not follow the creek, but only crosses it at it’s far western stretch. Originally named Arroyo San José de Cupertino, it is now named after Capt. Elisha Stephens, an early settler of the valley. I am not sure why the two names are spelled differently. Beginning in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Stevens Creek flows through Stevens Canyon, then through the cities of Cupertino, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View, on its way to join the San Francisco Bay. Stevens Canyon is one of the little jewels of the south bay. Click on the below thumbnails for larger pictures–

I previously painted the creek where it empties into San Francisco Bay in TwentySix: Home of the Airships. This piece was done where Stevens Creek starts to emerge from Stevens Canyon, and into the suburban sprawl of Silicon Valley proper. A huge Fremont Cottonwood stood sentinel over the creek with it’s large branches stretching far and wide.

Click this link for a map of all painting locations along with each painting.

We have been having beautiful weather here, and probably seen the last of any major storms. Many of the smaller creeks did not flow, except maybe right during what little rain we had.

I have added a section to my webpage listing all the identified creeks. I have now at least painted one in all the watersheds according to the Santa Clara Valley Water District maps.

TwentySix: Home of the Airships

Continuing the ‘Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley’ year long project.

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USS Macon and Hanger 1
USS Macon and Hanger 1

Covering 8 acres, the size of 6 football fields, Hanger 1 at Moffett Field has always been a marvel to see driving by on busy Highway 101. Moffett Field was commissioned in 1933 as a Naval Air Station and over the years has been the base for airships, maritime patrol craft, NASA Ames Research Center, Satellite Control Network (AKA ‘Blue Cube’), and a host of other activities. An aerospace industry grew up around it in the towns of Mountain View and Sunnyvale. Moffett is now a joint civil-military airport.

A relic from the past, Hanger 1 was built in 1933 to house the airship USS Macon and is one of the worlds largest freestanding structures. Two other hangers nearby, appropriately called #2 and #3, are some of the world’s largest freestanding wood structures. currently, Hanger 1 is going through a restoration, removing asbestos and other dangerous materials.

Stevens Creek originates in the Santa Cruz Mountains, flows through the towns of Cupertino, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View. It flows by and empties into the San Francisco Bay right next to Moffett Field. On the other side of the creek is the world headquarters of a company called Google and a smaller company called LinkedIn. The Shoreline Amphitheater is nearby, one of the main concert venues in the bay area..

Of course, if you use the internet, you know who Google is. Their buildings (called the Googleplex) occupy blocks and blocks of buildings adjacent to Moffett Field. Recently, they have leased much of Moffett, and taken over the restoration of Hanger 1.

Click on any picture to view the full size–

I did the painting on a pedestrian bridge over Stevens Creek. Another sky painting, in front is Moffett Field with Hanger 1 on the left. The large building on the right is the intake for the worlds largest wind tunnel. Hanger 1 is a little hard to see in the photos as it currently has it’s outer skin removed and looks like a silver skeleton. I wanted to paint it as it usually looks, so put the skin back on.

Home of the Airships, 8x10, oil on board
Home of the Airships, 8×10, oil on board

As painting number twenty-six, this marks the halfway point in this quest, at least as far as the number of paintings. I am about 6 paintings ahead of schedule and will probably do more than the original 52 painting goal.

Coming up:
We are getting a series of Pacific storms, so am going to scout around for some of the smaller, seasonal streams. Also on the agenda, Chavez and Korakuen.